Letters from Togo
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Pahbahzhen, Brother Mhenlo,
Today marks five years since you completed your studies with us and returned to your homeland in the distant northern kingdoms. You were one of the last Tyrian students I trained. Therefore I want you to be among the first Tyrians to learn that, although Shing Jea Monastery remains closed to foreign students, our noble emperor has reopened the port at Kaineng Center to ships of every nation. Trade and travel between Tyria and Cantha are once more returning to something resembling normalcy. And it is with even greater hope that I look upon this year's crop of new students at our humble monastery. It has been some time since I have seen such a promising group of young Canthans so eager to take up the mantle of the hero.
At long last, we have forged what I believe is a permanent peace between the Tengu and the humans of Cantha. The last of the Tengu Wars, which you saw for yourself when you trained here, has been over for almost a year now. Emperor Kisu has declared a day of celebration marking the one-year anniversary of the peace treaty, and I would invite you to join us if you are able (though I certainly understand if you are not, with the troubles Tyria has recently faced).
And yet, I am troubled. In my many years, I have learned to trust my instincts, and my instincts tell me that despite peace breaking out from Shing Jea Island to the Canthan mainland, my homeland stands on the verge of dark times. There is talk of a strange disease that strikes the remote settlements, and the piratical cultists of the Crimson Skull grow bolder by the day. The two warring vassal factions—the Kurzicks and Luxons—have been brought to the negotiating table through Emperor Kisu’s efforts, but I cannot help but feel that the two sides are not sincere. The emperor is hopeful, and I serve his wishes, but each faction seems to see only the immediate threat posed by their lifelong enemies. My instincts tell me that their conflict, if it continues, only serves to aid this dark force I cannot yet name.
Be watchful, my young friend. Though you call Tyria your home, Cantha may soon need your help.
Master Togo 23 Suzhen, 1582
Pahbahzhen, Brother Mhenlo,
Our worst fears have been realized. A plague is spreading across Cantha the likes of which I have never seen nor even imagined. Our healers have found no way to combat this affliction, and all our attempts to learn of previous outbreaks in the imperial archives or through consultation with the spirits of the dead have proven fruitless.
Truly, Mhenlo, I have never known a monk with a greater gift for healing, and though you are young, you have traveled far and wide. I would not ask this of you for myself, for I know full well that the last few years have shown you more than enough misery and strife, yet I do ask. I ask you to come and lend us your insight.
I ask in the name of all you love and remember about Cantha. The sweeping grandeur of Shing Jea Isle. The towering spectacle of Kaineng City. The breathtaking majesty of the Jade Sea. The dark beauty of the Echovald Forest. And, of course, all of us who have been proud to call you friend these many years. Return to us, Brother Mhenlo. We need you.
Master Togo 27 Suzhen, 1582
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